Dark Buddha Rising - II album review

Finnish psychonauts trip the blight fantastic

Cover art for Dark Buddha Rising - II album

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For the past 10 years, lurking beneath the streets of Tampere, Finland, a collective of musicians have been constructing a gateway – an intangible portal to realms beyond that of our own within a subterranean lair its members call an ‘asylum of eternal feedback’. The Wastement collective as they have come to be known, named after their creative centre, consists of several bands, all of whom share members, most notably psych metal fusionists Oranssi Pazuzu and the shamanic Dark Buddha Rising, who return to their roots on II – an offering of almost 30 minutes of music split over two tracks. A reference to I, their first release in 2007, II is their attempt to clear their spiritual path by finally releasing material that has been part of their live ritual since their inception. Initially composed in freeform jam sessions, the band find a riff and manipulate it to the point at which they, and by extension, you, become lost in it. Mahathgata I is a perfect example, a shamanic voice chanting before a tumultuous void, soon all encompassed by a yawning riff chasm that lasts for 15 crushing minutes, contorted by keys, chants, rants and abyssal atmospherics. Mahathgata II is a little more Zen, its opening chimes ringing in the darkness, raising hairs on your neck. Ritualistic chants gather to an exultant chorus, the air pregnant with an expectancy that turns to despair as the relentlessly plodding, predatory riff they’ve summoned is met by howls of anguish. The band, down in their dark dwelling, confront horrors most intangible and foul, that they might overcome them, seeking strength and rejuvenation. Dark Buddha Rising are not an entity that requires much analysis – to do so would be to defeat their objective of getting you outside of your head, stripping away the layers of your corporeal self, your awareness of your physical and intellectual existence on this earthly plane. Attune in, turn off, and space out.